Dec052015

Review: Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury was the third of four IHG hotels we stayed at in London during Thanksgiving week. InterContinental London Park Lane using Kelley’s Into the Nights free night certificates earned in December 2014 was our first hotel. My objective for our trip after staying two nights at IC Park Lane was three different IHG hotel stays in London to complete my IHG Rewards Club Accelerate tasks and earn about 43,000 points. This required staying two times on Points and Cash rates and one paid stay.

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury was a Points and Cash stay for 25,000 points + $70. The previous night we stayed at Holiday Inn Regent’s Park, also for 25,000 points + $70. My overall plan for London was spend 50,000 points on the two Points and Cash nights and earn nearly all those points back with the IHG Rewards Club Accelerate bonus points.

London for Thanksgiving

  1. Trip Report Monterey MRY–London LHR AAdvantage 20K economy award: Horizon Air segment MRY-LAX
  2. AA LAX Flagship Lounge Monterey MRY–London LHR trip report
  3. Remembering London
  4. IHG Rewards Club made Thanksgiving in London affordable
  5. Bed time at InterContinental London Park Lane
  6. Holiday Inn London Regent’s Park
  7. Holiday Inn Bloomsbury
  8. Holiday Inn London Heathrow T-5
  9. British Airways handbag only fares
  10. British Airways London Heathrow T-5 Galleries Lounge

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury

There are numerous IHG hotels in London. I picked four hotels primarily based on transportation options for easy access from London Heathrow into the city and easy access out of the city. Most, but not all IHG hotels were available for reward nights during our dates.

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury is about 100 meters from Russell Square tube station on the London Underground Piccadilly line. This meant we could catch the train directly to London Heathrow the following day.

The Holiday Inn London Regent’s Park was less than one mile from Holiday Inn Bloomsbury. It was raining and rush hour traffic when we picked up our bags in the evening. We took a taxi for 9 GBP.

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury Google Maps

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury Google Maps

Complimentary Executive Floor upgrade and two pints of beer

This hotel instantly ingratiated us with a room upgrade to the first floor  Executive Floor rooms.

HI Bloom-1

Having stayed in ten different hotels in London on Club Carlson and IHG reward nights in the past year, one thing I have learned are rooms on the Business Class or Executive Floors makes a big difference in room size. The problem is those upgrades are not common at the IHG Platinum or Club Carlson Gold elite levels. The prevailing room rates at London hotels puts even the lowest priced rooms out of my price range, so paying for an upgrade room is generally out of the question.

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury Best Flexible Rate for the date of our stay was 195 GBP ($295 USD). The advance purchase rate was 170 GBP ($257 USD) and only 180 GBP ($272 USD) with breakfast.

HI Bloom-2

The two photos above are probably what a standard room looks like at the hotel. The difference in our room was the extra seating space and nice wooden doors to close off the window space and noise outside.

HI Bloom-3    HI Bloom-4

These chairs were very comfortable. A room with two cushion chairs is something we have rarely had in our London rooms. Even the IC Park Lane stays were rooms with one cushion chair and the desk chair.

HI Bloom-6     HI Bloom-8

Fold out luggage holder was a quaint touch, but not too functional. Kelley’s small carry-on suitcase extended into the walk space for the bathroom.

HI Bloom-7     HI Bloom-9

HI Bloom-10     HI Bloom-11

The sink design protruding from the counter was similar to the bathroom we had at Holiday Inn Regent’s Park. There was plenty of space between the toilet, sink and tub at Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, whereas the cramped space of the HI Regent’s Park bathroom meant the protruding sink cut into the space for sitting down on and getting up off the toilet. The HI Bloomsbury bathroom was about twice as wide.

HI Bloom-12

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury Executive Floor lounge

Our drink vouchers were redeemed for two pints of Stella Artois in the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury lobby bar. That was about a 9 GBP value and worth more to me than 500 IHG points.

Last year we stayed at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street, a hotel about 15 minutes walk from the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury. The Radisson Blu seemed to be more of the West End theater district, whereas Holiday Inn Bloomsbury is more of the University College London neighborhood. We were geeking out at science museums like the Wellcome Collection and Grant Museum of Zoology.

There was an Irish pub adjacent to the hotel and another pub across the street from the hotel, Marquis Cornwallis. We ended up in a historic pub around the corner from the Russell Square Underground station called Friend at Hand.

London Friend at hand pub Google Maps

This was one of those nights when Kelley and I really connected as the beer flowed freely, well actually it cost a pretty penny with dinner. After 33 years together, those times when you feel really close are not always to be expected.

The sign outside the pub gives its history, which I am not sure how much is authentic, but still an interesting read. The pub was built in 1735. The first Underground railway, the Metropolitan line, was built near the pub in 1863. Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were patrons of the pub during their times. There is a ghost story associated with a former pub owner murdered there in 1836.

We were so happy to wake up the next day without hangovers, since we had planned a day with several museum visits.

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury is a convenient location for the British Museum.

British Museum

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury on Google Maps

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury area Google Maps

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury is a bargain for Sunday, December 20 when rates are under $125 USD per night.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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